Large-deck nuclear-powered aircraft carriers will be a key part of the Navy’s force structure for the next half-century, at a minimum. The primary reason for this is the remarkable adaptability and flexibility of the carrier air wing. When the current, evolving air wing is married to the functional improvements embodied in the new Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN), the result will be an advanced military capability of unparalleled flexibility, mobility, effectiveness, efficiency, and reach. The ability to tailor the carrier air wing to specific mission requirements, and even to add non-traditional aerial platforms into the mix means that the Navy will continue to project military power over great distances and across the spectrum of conflict for decades to come. I have written more on the evolution of the carrier air wing here.
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